One of the most important things for artists to do, also seems to be the most difficult to achieve. With the overwhelming amount of social media outlets that artists have to maintain to simply build their fan base, it’s seemingly impossible to keep up with emails, tweets, Facebook wall posts, and Instagram comments and replies. As difficult as it is to do this, it must be realized as a realistic and influential priority. As my career has grown faster than I could have ever dreamed within the past year, it’s been difficult for me to find a way to keep it organised and simultaneously maintain my daily life without being glued to my iPhone every minute of the day. There have been many days when I’ve been exhausted and have thought about procrastinating email and Twitter replies, but have been taught by the example of some very influential people that no matter how busy, nor exhausted you may be, you must always maintain the interaction with those who support you and your career.
While we’ve all seen a billion ‘Who to Follow on Twitter’ lists, there’s one criteria that the writers of these lists seem to overlook; pointing out which of those gurus listed creates an even exchange by engaging back with their respective audiences. There are many people I follow on Twitter who offer sound advice and link to relevant articles but it can impossible to solicit a directly relevant reply from them. I’m also friends with some of these “tweeters” on Facebook, and have observed and experienced a similar lack of engagement. At first I thought it was me. Perhaps I wasn’t offering intelligent replies, relevant questions, or quippy enough retorts, until one day I decided to actually pay attention over the course of a week or so. I found that these people don’t engage with anyone. This made me feel better, in one regard, but irritated me immensely in another. Not only are the following people highly knowledgeable, but I’ve never known of them to not send out a sincere reply or thank you when you retweet something that they’ve posted.
Michael Brandvold ~ The brilliant mind behind the successful marketing strategies of Britney Spears, Madonna, and the kings of all music marketing: KISS. Mr. Brandvold offers marketing articles and tips that would prove helpful to people in most any industry. Not only does he always engage with his followers, he offers many of his e-books for free!
Ariel Hyatt ~ Not only do I love that Ariel Hyatt is amazing at offering marketing and promotion insights, she always offers a “thank you” for a friendly follow or retweet. She also follows back and answers questions, constantly maintaining the lines of communication between herself and her followers. Even when in the middle of her successful Kickstarter campaign, Ms. Hyatt always found the time to interact with those who reached out to her.
Brian Thompson ~ Yet another music marketing svengali, Brian Thompson, also lists creative coach, digital strategist, and music consultant among his specialties. Not one to shy away from the humorous tweet, Mr. Thompson always posts links to his podcasts (which he conducts with Michael Brandvold (see above), so you should definitely tune in and listen!), relevant articles by himself and colleagues, and valuable information which those individuals involved within the music industry should pay close attention to! The best thing about him? He constantly maintains an open line of communication with readers, listeners, and supporters, alike.
Solveig Whittle ~ While all of the people I’ve suggested so far offer techniques and suggestions applicable to many various industries, none do so as much as Solveig Whittle. Describing herself as a musician and a marketer, Ms. Whittle offers ideas that anyone, in seemingly any industry, could easily apply to themselves to increase productivity with very little effort. While I’ve never met Ms. Whilttle, I’ve had extensive conversations with her on Twitter on several occasions and she’s always charming and quick to reply. As is the case with the aforementioned people, she is also always quick to thank people for re-tweeting her material and introducing herself to new followers.
I always maintain that there is more to Twitter than the number of people you follow and who follow you back. If you don’t utilize those numbers to truly engage your audience and appreciate them, you’ll lose them, and they’ll be useless to you in the long run. If you do as the people listed above do, and use your knowledge to educate the masses, as well as acknowledge them, you’ve already figured out a huge piece of the puzzle!